More and more children are receiving organ transplants these days. In Spain, around 60-70 kidney transplants are carried out every year on children (the most common form of transplant), between 25% and 30% of which are living organs. The donor is usually one of the parents, more often the mother than the father.
According to the Spanish Nephrology Society (SEN), every year around 32 new kidney failure cases are registered among children and in many of these cases a transplant is seen as the best option. However, although it is the best treatment for certain diseases, a transplant involves a series of challenges in the postoperative period that can be especially tough on children due to the frequency of check-ups and constant hospital stays.
Children with transplants need to follow a long list of recommendations on diet, health and hygiene and, at least during the first few months after the transplant, have to attend constant check-ups and tests to be sure that the organ is not being rejected or that there are no other complications such as possible infections.
In addition, they will need to start treatment with specific medication so the precautions that need to be taken before embarking on a long car journey, or any other means of transport, will be the usual ones with regard to medication, apart from which you should always consult the specialist who is treating the child for the best advice.
Following the transplant, provided that there are no complications during the first two months, it can be assumed that the donated organ will behave just like a native one. Indeed, among the most common recommendations is that the child should engage in some sort of exercise for at least half-an-hour every day as there may be a tendency to put on weight.
If the child has had to have an ostomy (a surgical procedure to open the abdomen and reroute the normal movement of intestinal contents outside the body), it is possible they may have difficulties in putting on a seat belt correctly without putting pressure on the ostomy bag. In these cases, it is likely you will have to use a special securing device or a belt like the ones used by pregnant women. The exact method will depend on the type of intervention and the child's age.